Greenland set to become a producer of both rubies and sapphires

Rough rubies from True North’s deposit in Greenland.

Greenland set to become a producer of both rubies and sapphires

Canadian-based True North plans to begin building an open-pit mine in the icy reaches of Greenland that will produce ruby and pink sapphire gemstones. The company to come on line before the end of 2015, and mine is forecast to remain production until at least 2024.

The green light for the Aappaluttoq project came after the Vancouver-headquartered miner managed to obtain an $11 million finance package with joint-venture partner LSNG. It was granted a 30-year mining license in March from the Government of Greenland. LSNG will earn a 27 percent stake in the project by spending $26 million on infrastructure to get the mine to operational status.

Aappaluttoq is believed to be the largest geologically defined ruby and pink sapphire deposit in the world, with more than 400 million carats of corundum within 65 meters of the surface. True North says that the quality of the rubies at the mine is comparable to Burmese stones without heat treatment or glass filling.

According to True North, the mine and processing facility will create up to 80 new jobs and will provide a gross revenue royalty to the Government of Greenland of 5.5 percent on all sales of rubies and pink sapphires.

True Gems has noted that the opening of a mine a cold-weather environment is testament to the confidence it has in the colored gemstone market, which it describes “as buoyant as it has been in the last five years.”

Ruby prices have been steadily climbing since 2010, and almost doubled in the past 10 years, while sapphire prices are up about 65 percent.

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